Adrian Chavez, Accused Toddler-Shooting Gun Owner, Was in SWAT Team Standoff With Mom
A Facebook photo of Adrian Chavez. More images and new details below.
Update: Earlier this morning, we posted an update about a SWAT team standoff in Keenesburg that ended tragically. Turns out a similar standoff was in the past of another person at the center of a Tuesday post: Adrian Chavez, 22, the accused owner of a gun a five-year-old used to shoot a Pueblo toddler. See our previous coverage below.
Continue for photos and additional details about Chavez's previous run-in with the law, which began with an alleged home invasion also involving his mom.
Chavez's Facebook page lists his status as single, but there are plenty of photos featuring children that may or may not include those involved in the shooting. In that incident, a nine-year-old reportedly found Chavez's gun unattended and manipulated it into a shooting position before giving it to a younger child, age five. The latter then shot a three-year-old girl, who survived a shot to the chest. At last report, she was in critical but stable condition.
Also spotlighted on Chavez's page are portraits like this one....
...and this one:
Not included is this image:
The reason? It's a booking photo of Chavez from April 2012, when he and three others were taken into custody after a high-profile bust.
According to a contemporary report in the Pueblo Chieftain, Chavez was among a group that invaded a home on the 1000 block of East Abriendo Avenue. There, members were said to have threatened the homeowner with a bat, hit him with a rock and assaulted him and his girlfriend.
Afterward, the suspects reportedly fled to another house, located at 2531 West 29th Street. Police tipped by the Abriendo Avenue homeowners showed up there early on April 16, and when Chavez and company didn't come out willingly, a SWAT team was dispatched and neighbors in the immediate area were evacuated due to concerns that the occupants were armed and dangerous. A police spokesman told the Chieftain the Chavezes had a "weapons history."
What followed was a standoff that lasted for the better part of seven hours. Finally, around 9 a.m., police were able to make contact with someone inside, and around twenty minutes later, nine adults and one juvenile exited the home voluntarily.
Chavez, then twenty, was promptly cuffed and booked along with his mom, Yvonne Chavez, plus Charles Chavez and Jeffrey Trujillo. KOAA-TV reveals that Adrian was eventually charged with felony first-degree burglary and misdemeanor assault. He pleaded guilty to the assault beef, receiving three years' probation and 100 hours of community service in exchange.
However, Chavez failed to show up for a court date earlier this year, resulting in his probation being revoked in May. Additionally, an arrest warrant was issued in his name -- which is likely why he split after the shooting rather than sticking around to deal with police. He was found and arrested a few hours later.
Here's another mug shot of Chavez, followed by our previous coverage.
A Pueblo Police Department photo from the scene. An interactive graphic and more below.
Unfortunately, children seriously hurt or worse after getting their hands on unattended guns isn't unprecedented. But a terrible incident in Pueblo yesterday has a number of twists. For one thing, fortunately, the injured child is still alive at last report, albeit in critical condition. For another, two kids handled the weapon before a shot was fired, with the one who manipulated it into firing position telling investigators he knew how to do it from playing video games.
The incident took place on the 3200 block of Colfax in Pueblo. Here's an interactive graphic of the area near the scene; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
The first report of what happened came in this Pueblo Police Department tweet:
Police responding to an incident involving a 3 yr old with a gun shot wound. More info as it is available.
— Pueblo Police Dept (@PuebloPolice1) August 4, 2014
Additional details emerged in a PPD release. At around 10:15 a.m. yesterday, it states, officers were dispatched after receiving a call about a three-year-old female who'd been shot. She was responsive upon their arrival, having been hit by a single bullet that entered and exited her body without breaking any bones. However, the situation was serious enough that after being transported to a local hospital, she was choppered via Flight for Life to a facility in Colorado Springs.
The girl subsequently underwent surgery, and as of late yesterday afternoon, she was in critical but stable condition.
As for what led to the shooting, investigators believe a nine-year-old child gained access to a gun that was inside the house and brought it to the backyard. There, he is said to have manipulated the gun so that it was ready for firing before handing it off to another kid, age five. That child then pointed it at the three-year-old girl and pulled the trigger.
One of several Call of Duty: Black Ops titles.
When the nine-year-old was asked by law enforcers how he was able to manipulate the handgun, the release says "he learned it from video games like Black Ops," a popular entry in the Call of Duty franchise.
Neither the injured child nor her mom have been identified at this writing. But the mother was home at the time of the shooting in the company of Adrian Chavez, her 22-year-old boyfriend. Chavez fled the scene, presumably because he had a no bond warrant for failure to appear written out in his name. But he didn't get far: He was taken into custody around 3:15 p.m.
Chavez is expected to be charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury for leaving his gun unattended. No booking photo has been released thus far, but we have a call in to the Pueblo Police Department seeking additional information.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Jack McAtee, R.I.P.: Skull on Mountain ID'd as Man at Center of Odd Disappearance
Fri., Oct. 16, 7:00pm
Fri., Oct. 16, 7:30pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 1:30pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 7:00pm
- Marijuana Sales Top $100M in August: How Long Will It Keep Climbing Higher?
- Landlord: Renters Wanted to Grow Pot or Couldn't Pass a Background Check